Obituary: Maynard Glitman, arms negotiator

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Maynard W Glitman, arms negotiator. Born: 8 December, 1933, in Chicago. Died: 14 December, 2010, in Shelburne, Vermont, aged 77.

Maynard Glitman was a diplomat who led the American side in negotiating the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty, signed by the US and the Soviet Union in 1987.

The INF treaty, as it is known, represented a significant advance in US-Soviet relations during the Cold War; from 1985 onward, Glitman, a respected veteran of the US foreign service with expertise in arms control, was the United States' chief negotiator. The treaty was the first nuclear-arms agreement to mandate the reduction of weapons by both sides, rather than simply capping the number each was allowed to possess.

Signed by president Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on 8 December, 1987, the treaty banned all land-based medium and shorter-range nuclear missiles - that is, ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges from about 300 to about 3,400 miles.

The treaty was approved by the US Senate in May 1988 and came into force on 1 June that year. It was the first major American-Soviet arms accord the Senate had approved since the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1972.

For Glitman, a career diplomat who was later the ambassador to Belgium, the accord was the culmination of more than six years of negotiations. He chronicled their progress, frustrations, reversals and eventual resolution in a memoir, The Last Battle of the Cold War: An Inside Account of Negotiating the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, published in 2006.

Maynard Wayne Glitman, known as Mike, got a degree in international affairs from the University of Illinois in 1955, followed by a master's from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

He then joined the State Department as an economist. In the late 1960s, he served on the staff of the National Security Council, and in 1976 he was named deputy representative to Nato in Brussels. His other foreign postings included the Bahamas, Canada and France.

In 1981, the INF talks began in Geneva, with Glitman as deputy negotiator under Paul Nitze. In November 1983, the Soviet delegation broke off the talks in response to Nato's deployment in Europe of American-made Pershing II and cruise missiles.

During the hiatus, Reagan appointed Glitman chief negotiator for the mutual and balanced force reduction talks in Vienna.

The INF talks resumed in March 1985, with Glitman as the chief negotiator on medium-range forces - parallel talks were held on space and defensive arms.

By all accounts, Glitman was a steady, sobering presence. "He is generally regarded as a solid professional but not the type who is likely to thump the table insisting on compromises," The New York Times wrote of him in 1985.

In May, 1988, the Senate approved the INF treaty.Applause swept not only the gallery but also the Senate floor - a highly unusual occurrence.

By June 1991, as mandated by the treaty, the US and the Soviet Union had collectively dismantled more than 2,600 missiles. After the Soviet break-up later that year, several former Soviet republics, including Belarus and Ukraine, joined Russia and the US in carrying out the treaty.

In 2007, partly in response to American plans to deploy a missile shield in Eastern Europe, Russian military officials threatened to withdraw from the treaty. That October, however, the US and Russia issued a joint statement affirming their continued support.

After serving as ambassador to Belgium from 1988 to 1991, Glitman taught political science at the University of Vermont and contributed articles to foreign-affairs publications.

Besides his wife, the former Christine Amundsen, whom he married in 1956, Glitman is survived by three sons, Russell, Erik and Matthew; two daughters, Karen Glitman and Rebecca Trieb; a brother, Joseph; a sister, Paula Glitman; and six grandchildren.